Kohlhase ready for new season
The Marist men’s softball side is banking on experience to carry them through this season.
Auckland’s Fastpitch Championship (AFC) gets under way tomorrow with Marist up against the Mt Albert Rambles in their season opener at Warren Freer Park.
Coach Eddie Kohlhase speaks highly of his team this year, most of his players have international experience.
‘‘Our outfield is arguably one of the fastest sets in New Zealand anchored by Jerome Haretuku and Curtis Cosh,’’ Kohlhase says.
‘‘Our captain Bernie Hale brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership to our tight-knit team and coupled with the enthusiasm of our younger players, I’m looking forward to a successful season.’’
A good mix, that’s how Kohlhase describes his side and with senior players returning from last year, they also have some new blood that he hopes will get far this season.
‘‘We have a great mix of youth and experience in our pitching depth this year, led by veteran New Zealand and Samoan International Heinie Shannon, Samoan international Greg Anderson and New Zealand Junior Black Sox pitcher Daniel Chapman.
‘‘All of our infield players have represented either New Zealand or Samoa at senior and Junior World Championships, so again there’s a mix of experience and fledgling talent.’’
Last season, Marist placed second in the AFC, losing narrowly to Auckland United. This year they want to do one better and have also set their sights on the New Zealand Club Nationals.
‘‘A few of our young members have been playing overseas in the New Zealand off-season and are just returning now so have been unable to train with the team.
‘‘However I’m keen to see the gains and knowledge they will have made whilst playing in many overseas tournaments and leagues.
‘‘Our main focus this year will be to blood our younger players and we will be using the first half of the season to implement some initiatives and goals we have developed as a group to prepare for the NZ Club Nationals in late March, as this is the pinnacle event for all New Zealand teams.’’
The Marist v Mt Albert Ramblers game gets under way at 3pm at Warren Freer Park.